Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2014 Wrap-up (New York City edition)

Allison, Becca and I have birthdays within about a month of each other. Our husbands, looking to give us an "experience" rather than a "thing," banded together and decided to send us to NYC in November for Laura's birthday since she was celebrating the big 3-0. Also, because NYC is cool.

Austin came along to be the trip photographer and navigator, meaning the rest of us didn't really have to figure out the subway system. So here we were, on the airplane (Becca and Austin connected in Denver so we could sit together) and Austin tried to avoid the picture. 

We arrived in NYC and after a couple shenanigans, joined up with Allison. Then we were crammed into a taxi and decided to take selfies instead of tell Laura we were on our way. All the while, quoting Jerry Seinfeld from his whole taxi bit about anybody else driving like this would be considered a lunatic, but this man was a professional.
Sisters reunited and heading out on the subway.
That first night we made signs to take to the NYC Marathon the next morning. We were really looking for some positive reinforcement. Since the weather forecast did not look lovely and peaceful and warm-ish like the year Laura ran (and I flew out and carboloaded with her - I'm such a good sister).
Our efforts paid off as we got tagged on a Buzzfeed "best marthon signs" list. We'll take whatever fame we can get. I also brought my cowbell. I considered bringing my vuvuzela and blowing it on the airplane any time I was bored/annoyed, but then decided I didn't want to get kicked off the plane. So it stayed home.

Just walking around looking so natural. We ended the evening watching Idina Menzel perform and it was just so incredible. Her voice makes me want to laugh and cry and punch something and swear all at the same time because she's just so GOOD. I hope to see her again soon.
 Then we got on the Subway and saw this super warm and welcoming person. Classic:
Next morning, the obligatory Waffels & Dinges stop. Becca was obviously inspired because her wardrobe seemed to coordinate perfectly.
This was Allison's first trip to the Waffel truck. No, she didn't eat both waffels. Yes, her face depicts the bliss one feels upon finishing their breakfast.
Walking burns like a billion calories, right? That's why we had Shake Shack for lunch THAT SAME DAY. What I didn't take a picture of was our stop at Levain Bakery where I loaded up on cookies. I was too distracted by the people protesting the Dalai Lama. Really? The Dalai Lama? You've got to be kidding me. And yet, they had a very catchy chant which we proceeded to "sing" for the next couple days. Becca loved it.

And have I mentioned lately that Laura works at The Tonight Show? So yeah, we got VIP tickets to the hottest show in New York. No biggie. I was pretty sure we'd be best friends with Jimmy but Anne Hathaway got in the way. After that we had pizza with Patsy Grimaldi. Well, we had pizza at his restaurant called Juliana's (which is right next to Grimaldi's, which he sold to someone else in 1998, but then decided retirement was lame or something). It was, by far, the best pizza I've ever tasted and he was charming and chatted everyone up and tossed dough and kissed me as we left. All in a day's work.

That night we returned to our hotel room and I began looking at pictures, only to see that this one looks like we took Allison's head for a walk, leaving her body to rest at the hotel room. So creepy. And at 11pm it's hysterical.
The next morning we hit the top of 30 Rock to behold the views of Manhattan. There was also a family there speaking french and they had a little girl with red hair who I may have followed around for a little while, pretending she was my (bilingual) child. Apologies to the family if they thought I was going to kidnap her. (I might have considered it.)
Then we headed down to Ground Zero. I've seen pictures of it before and thought it looked nice, but let me tell you it was very ... hmm... I can't quite think of the word. Sacred? Awe-inspiring? Moving? All those, and then some. The monument with the waterfalls is genius. The area is just so serene. Such a difference from that day over 13 years ago (and then for months afterward).
We decided to pay our respects to Lady Liberty, so we boarded the ferry and away we went. Allison and I were having a great time taking pictures of ourselves.
Then I decided to try to take one of those pictures where people "hold" what's in the background, except I wanted to be totally off. This wasn't hard. "Did I get her? Did I get her?" I'd ask like an eager puppy dog (if puppy dogs could talk, of course) and Allison would respond in an impatient/irritated tone, "Um, NO. You're TERRIBLE at this!" And then we'd both giggle. I love looking ridiculous when it's part of a plan.
On to Ellis Island to pay our respects to the place through which our great great great Grandma Martine walked many years ago. 
Then to a showing of Matilda. I originally thought, "Yeah, ok, we'll see Matilda," but I tell everyone, "SEE MATILDA!" The music was wonderful. The set was spectacular. The children were DELICIOUS. Also, they were in danger of being kidnapped. I might have texted Joel, "Might stick some children in my carryon if I can manage it."
The next day we convened to wish our birthday girl farewell. I gave Austin my phone to take some pictures and he managed to take some candids that I think are lovely.
If you can believe it, there are a gajillion more pictures that I am not including (you're welcome) including a variety of food pictures and other nonsense. In short, however, we all left happy but exhausted. We walked all over the place and my calves were sore for days. But I don't regret any of it. In fact, we immediately began talking about plans for our next trip. Maybe our Moomsie-Daisy will come, too. We promise we won't make you pay for our stuff!


PaloAltoCougar said...

I really enjoyed this entertaining write-up and not just because I'm proud I helped raise four girls who love to get together, and are pretty funny when they do.

laura said...

A+++++ WOULD READ AGAIN. It was so fun having you guys here!